Yes, it is flu season. I hope you have not gotten sick! Just the other day I read about California hospitals erecting tents in their parking lots because there are so many people needing care. Flu season commonly peaks in the US between December and February, but can last even until May. This year the predominant strain of the flu is H3N2, but states are also starting to see patients suffering from the H1N1 strain as well and expect to see patients with Influenza B later in the season. And it seems folks are getting sick with the flu then catching pneumonia or bronchitis, or even another strain of the flu at the same time. YIKES!
I’ve written a few other newsletters and blog posts about tips to boost your immune system. In case you missed them, here’s a quick summary:
- Take supplements to boost your immune system – a good multi-vitamin, Vitamin D (get your levels checked), a high potency probiotic, and an omega fatty acid. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc also play an important role in strengthening the immune system. You do not have to use the products I like and recommend, but I do recommend buying high quality supplements. Your body will thank you.
- Chinese herbs are really amazing at treating colds and flu, as well as preventing them. Not everyone is alike so the formula that you need is not necessarily the one your husband, child or friend needs. Schedule a treatment and we will send you home with a formula just for you.
- Cleaning your home after family members have been sick is really essential, of course, but using toxic chemicals is not ideal for any of us. Actually if you can air your home out, by opening windows even for a few minutes, you can help improve the health of your home. There are some amazing essential oils that you can use internally, topically and to clean, that are safe, effective and smell awesome.
It is very important to take good care of yourself if you start feeling ill. The best thing to eat if you feel under the weather is a simple soup of water, sliced scallions (or spring onion) and ginger slices. You can also make the soup with chicken broth, or miso, if you have it on hand. This simple soup is actually a Chinese formula for the very initial stages of a cold. The ginger and onion work together to evoke a gentle sweat, which pushes the pathogen out of your system. You can also achieve the gentle sweat by taking a hot bath, but do not soak for overly long, as you do not want to deplete yourself.
Protecting your neck and head from the wind helps with immunity too – Chicago feels sooo much colder when the wind is blowing. By protecting your neck, you are protecting the acupuncture channels and points that are most superficial on your body and the area where colds and flu can enter in our body. These superficial channels will appreciate the extra care.
Mild acupressure can also help boost the immune system and fight infections. One of my favorite points on the body is called Stomach 36, or Leg Three Miles (the English translation of the Pinyin Zusanli). This point is located just below the knee, on the shin, just lateral to the prominent tibia bone. Click here for images and information on how to find this point on yourself, easily and exactly. Once you have found this point, take a few minutes to apply gentle but constant pressure, once or twice a day. You will likely find yourself feeling mildly invigorated, and perhaps relaxed, as you strengthen your immune system.
As someone who has had a lifelong issue with respiratory infections, I can tell you that acupuncture and Chinese medicine, along with other natural medicines such as Chiropractic, have helped me immensely. I get sick much less frequently and severely. If you or someone you know, or love, is suffering, please come in for care. Your body will appreciate it!